Monday, October 24, 2011

"The Sunday Cook Collection" (recipes from the Milwaukee Journal) - Cheddar Chowder

Date I made this recipe: October 23, 2011

The Sunday Cook Collection by Grace Howaniec (recipes compiled for the Wisconsin magazine of the Milwaukee Journal)
Published by: Amherst Press
ISBN: 0-942495-27-6; © 1993
Recipe: Cheddar Chowder – p. 37

So there I was thinking about the upcoming Packer-Viking game and wondering what I could make that was football related, and there it was—just sitting waiting for me to pick it up: The Sunday Cook Collection, written by a columnist for the Wisconsin magazine of the Milwaukee Journal. Just so we’re all on the same page, Milwaukee is in Wisconsin. And back in the day, Packer games used to be played in Green Bay and Milwaukee. So this was perfect.

And then, honestly as if I hadn’t already hit pay dirt, I opened up the book and found the recipe for Cheddar Chowder. Packers + Cheese = Wisconsin, no?

Of course, as these things go, the game was played here in Minneapolis, not Wisconsin. In what is now known as the Mall of America Field…or whatever. I can’t keep up, and more importantly, I don’t care. (This field should not be confused with the actual Mall of America where fun can be had…unlike most Vikings games these days).

Any who…the Packers won, 33-27 and that’s all I’m going to say about that or my blood pressure will go up (because to me, that was one, close call!). I’m thinking it was the fact that I made Cheddar Chowder that saved the day. That’s me—all about the team!

This dish was really easy to make although I’m not sure I was fond of chopping the vegetables in the food processor. On the other hand, it was a time saver and with a game about to start, well….

And that concludes yet another Packer-related meal, brought to you by a (sometimes) “Sunday Cook.”

Cheddar Chowder – makes 6 servings
2 medium baking potatoes
1 large carrot, peeled
1 rib celery, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, peeled
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
2 cups water
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups skim milk
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
6 ounces smoked, cooked ham sliced, diced (the author notes that she used Oscar Meyer 96% fat-free ham).

Peel and quarter potatoes. In work bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade, dice potatoes using Pulse/Off button until potatoes are ¼-inch pieces (should make about 2 cups). (Ann’s Note: I didn’t measure so I’ll take the author’s word for it). Remove potatoes to large kettle. Rinse work bowl (hmm…didn’t do that, either), then repeat dicing process, separately, with carrots (to make ½ cup), celery (to make ½ cup) and onion (to make ¼ cup).

To potatoes in kettle, add diced carrots, celery, onion, salt, pepper and water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium and boil about 12 minutes; set aside. Do not drain.

In small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour gradually, stirring until smooth. Let cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in milk; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add grated cheese; stir sauce until cheese is melted.

Stir cheese sauce into undrained vegetables in kettle. Stir in diced ham; heat 2 minutes over medium-low heat.

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